As I mentioned earlier, reading A Study in Sherlock inspired me to try out some new mystery authors. I started with Jan Burke. Our local library has several of her books, but not the first one in her series about Irene Kelly, so I just grabbed the one with the most interesting title. It was Bloodlines.
Bloodlines is the sort of sprawling, nuanced, intricately rambling treat I don't usually find when I read mysteries. By the time I was fifty pages into it, I was firm friends with the two main characters of the first section, young Connor O'Connor and his mentor, newspaperman Jack Corrigan. I need to blog about how important it is for me to become friends with characters sometime, but for now I'll just assure you that it's important. And the faster I make friends, the better I generally like the book. I love this book. It takes place over five different decades, and about halfway through I realized it was kind of tying together several events in other books in the series. Characters I grew to love would abruptly die off-page. I grew to love other characters in their places. The giant, seemingly rambly narrative came into focus, then charged ahead full-steam suddenly, then tied up in a most satisfactory -- but deliciously unexpected -- way. Complete love!
It concerned a bunch of characters who died and disappeared in the 1950s in a way that made me think of Frank Miller's Sin City graphic novels. Also, there's a kidnapping. And then nothing whatsoever happens with the case for decades, until someone unexpectedly unearths some new clues.... By the end, I was a confirmed Jan Burke fan and hungry for more.